Holiday episodes are always a treat when watching sitcoms – it gives viewers the opportunity to see how their favorite characters handle the unique stressors of the season. New Girl didn’t quite have a Thanksgiving episode every year of its seven season run, but the five episodes that the show produced are truly some of the series’ best.

With moments like Schmidt’s (Max Greenfield) Bangsgiving, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) trying to “Parent Trap” her divorced parents, and the crew discovering a dead body, it’s hard to choose which episode tops the others, and yet that’s exactly what we’ve done. Here are all of the New Girl Thanksgiving episodes ranked.

5. “Thanksgiving”

Season 1 Episode 6

“Thanksgiving” isn’t a bad episode by any means, but as only the sixth episode of the series, it’s very clear that this is the loft crew’s first holiday get-together. Character personalities and dynamics aren’t as strong as they are in later seasons, but this is still a fun episode to revisit around this time of year. Justin Long does a great job as Paul, a teacher that Jess works with and the first person she’s thought about dating since having her heart broken by Spencer. He’s just as weird and quirky as she is, but their cuteness is still no match for Jess and Nick’s (Jake Johnson) early chemistry, even as they fight over the proper way to spend the holiday.

This is also the episode where Schmidt almost catches the loft on fire trying to thaw a turkey in the dryer, forcing them to use their elderly neighbor’s kitchen while she’s “out of town.” Unfortunately for them (and their neighbor) it takes them a bit too long to realize that she never made it to her sister’s and she’s lying dead in her bathroom for poor sweet Paul to find.

4. “Last Thanksgiving”

Season 6 Episode 7

As the name suggests, this is the last Thanksgiving episode of the series, and like the first it features Jess struggling to admit how she feels to an awkward boyfriend. This time, she’s looking to break up with Robby (Nelson Franklin) after realizing that she just sees him as a friend. And Jess isn’t the only one in this episode using the holiday to air out their relationship issues. Reagan (Megan Fox) bails on coming to the loft’s get-together at the last minute, leaving Nick feeling insecure and disappointed.

Schmidt’s father is also dealing with a breakup, putting a damper on the father-son bonding that Schmidt had planned after their decades of estrangement. As they celebrate the last Thanksgiving in the loft before Cece and Schmidt move into their new house, the gang also reminisces over the chaotic Thanksgivings that came before as they all anxiously approach this next stage of life and friendship together.

3. “Parents”

Season 2 Episode 8

Just because this episode is the only one without “Thanksgiving” in the name doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best. Not only do we get to meet Jess’ divorced parents Joan and Bob (played by the incredible Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner, respectively), but we also get to learn that Jess has spent a good chunk of her life trying various “Parent Trap” inspired schemes to get them back together – and this Thanksgiving is yet another attempt. What’s different about this time, however, is that Joan and Bob have been casually hooking up, but decided to keep it a secret from Jess so they wouldn’t get her hopes up.

Meanwhile, Schmidt’s cousin, Schmidt (Rob Riggle) joins the festivities. This Schmidt is recently separated and is trying to hide his devastation behind a veil of machismo. In one of the first Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Cece (Hannah Simone) mess-arounds, the bored duo convinces the two Schmidts into a competition of strength to prove who will be considered the one true Schmidt.

2. “Thanksgiving III”

Season 3 Episode 10

Jess and Nick’s first Thanksgiving as a couple paired with Coach’s (Damon Wayans Jr.) return to the loft makes for a very interesting and hilarious Thanksgiving. Feeling insecure, Nick insists on proving his manliness by taking the crew out for a Thanksgiving in the woods. In the spirit of the holiday, he insists that they forage for their meal and eat only what the wilderness provides.

Despite the rest of the group’s reservations, Jess does her best to be supportive, and even goes as far as eating a decomposing fish that Nick finds floating suspiciously in a nearby body of water. She contracts legionnaire’s disease and spends the rest of the day in the hospital, but the pair’s budding relationship remains remarkably intact.

1. “Thanksgiving IV”

Season 4 Episode 9

Schmidt is in charge of season 4’s Thanksgiving celebrations, and insists on dubbing this year’s festivities “Bangsgiving.” As part of this new holiday, Schmidt has asked everyone in the friend group to bring someone that they think another friend could sleep with. This is by far the horniest of the New Girl Thanksgiving episodes, but that’s not the only reason why it’s the best. Thanks to Coach inviting him to dinner, we finally get to see Jess give into her feelings for Ryan (Julian Morris), a coworker that she’s been pining over for several episodes. “Thanksgiving IV” also reveals that Cece may still have feelings for Schmidt and features an appearance from Nick’s elderly friend Tran.

The post Every New Girl Thanksgiving Episode Ranked appeared first on Den of Geek.

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